16 August 2011

Girl Resurrected

One of my science heroes - Sid The Science Kid!
Sunday, Sean and I took K to the Science Center. I have to boast about the fact that my Mom Voice stopped 3 teenagers from banging on a computer monitor. Seriously, who the fuck lets their children (I don't care how old) get away with that shit? To give you more detail...you know how museums have the touch-screen monitors next to exhibits? Well, the Science Center has two next to one of their anatomical exhibits. That particular feature was down (after a free weekend and unattended kids, are we surprised?). I was at the next space over piecing together an anatomy dummy with the Hobbits when I heard terrible banging. I look up to see the afore mentioned twits pounding their fists on the wall screens like imprisoned apes.

"HEY!" I barked. I turned on the stern voice I usually withhold for serious problems with the daughter or when the cats are trying to unroll the toilet paper. "Stop that. Right. Now. It's already broken and you don't need to destroy it and make things worse."

The kids flushed and went off, heads hanging.

My Mom-Fu is strong!

But enough about that...

So, with the kiddo back in school I have more time to put toward my creative endeavors. Of course, this means writing! Woo! Some projects I want to spend time with:


  • Editing flash/short fiction to send to lit. magazines for publication.
  • A fantasy short called "The Giving Tree".
  • More work in the Zombie verse I've got going including editing the novella (title: Stitch), getting sequels outlined and written in a way that satisfies me and more shorts from the point of view of other characters.
  • Research and work for the YA novel I want to write (title: Banning Elizabeth).
  • Work on the short story "Woebegone" and see if I have a novel in there. 
  • New fiction yet to be imagined.
  • Overhaul of the first novel I wrote back in 2008. 
1/3 of the PVC instrument
Yeah, it's a lot. But, some is editing, some is new work...and it's all do-able. But, other than writing, I've got a proverbial bug up my ass to do something else. As long-time readers of this blog will know, I auditioned for Blue Man Group about 7 years ago. For a while, all I wanted in life was to be a Blue Man. For various reasons, that did not happen. After I had my daughter, my priorities shifted and I made the conscious choice to let go of that dream. For a few years, that stung a bit, I admit. I felt like I'd failed. Now, though, I understand that I did the right thing for me and mine and that's what matters.

So, now, with a bad back and fifty pounds that won't look great on stage, being a Blue Man just isn't in the cards. (Not to mention that I just don't have the Oh-My-God-I-Need-This feeling about it anymore.) But, that doesn't mean I can't still play like a Blue Man. 

For a while, I've been silent. My sticks are collecting dust and I never play my electric kit. My chops are rustier than the Tin Man's joints. I've let my musical muscles atrophy out of fear and shame from an imagined failure. But...the other day at the Science Center, something of that me woke up. We were playing with some of their acoustic toys (long pipes that just channel air to form amazing drone sounds, a ginormous sound box with 4 strings to pluck). And Sean and I started talking about how the notes on the "guitar" sounded very Blue Man. While we sat down and let K build things with magnets, Sean and I "composed" a piece just talking out patterns. 

At one point, I elbowed him and said, "What are you doing? You're going to make me a musician again!"
"Again?" he asked.

Drumbone. 2 parts that combine to make a larger, sliding instrument
Those skills have been dormant, it's true, but they haven't left me. Not entirely. And now, I have a desire to build my own instruments. I won't get the chance to play PVC IV on the stage at Briar Street...but what's stopping me from doing it in my own back yard? Or yours? 

Lack of plumbing hardware, really. 

So, I've decided that in the coming months, I will be gathering some like-minded troops from the Local Ohana and I will be making my own Blue Man instruments. I want to make a PVC instrument, a Drumbone...possibly a backpack Tubulum...and I want to have some Airpoles for good measure. The build will be a fun, communal  learning experience and playing the instruments with my daughter would be a blast! 

The whole PVC instrument.
When I do this, I will be documenting the build(s) on this blog, and possibly on my neglected percussion blog, Chickaboom. Pictures, hints, tips, rants...possibly video once they are ready to play. (I still have Drumbone memorized. Just need two people to get the slide going.)

I think this is going to be a blast. 

How 'bout you? Ever build anything crazy? Geeky? Any homemade instruments or flame throwers out there? I want to hear about it. 

What's rooting around in your brain and ready to hatch?

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